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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Late Romans and dux bellorum

Phew finished at last. Here we have my take on a late Roman army in post Roman Britain. I see them as a collection of stay behind garrison units and militias. Historically correct ? Who knows but they sure do look impressive heheheh

The force is bigger than I originally intended to make it. The final count is 270 figures most of which are conversions.. I must admit, it's really got me back into converting and painting miniatures again. so onto the next army.

Late Romans last few elements

   Well I promised myself I would sustain the effort and fortunately I have succeeded. Today saw the finishing touches to the last few elements.

Skirmish element bow armed:-

    These are the Romano British archers from kallistra. They suit the part so I used them straight from the packet       


Bow armed warband:-

Again these are the same figures as the skirmish group and I used them with no conversion. I did however cut the arrows from some of the figures for variation

Shield wall elements:-

These are heavily converted from the Romano-Brit, Saxon and Norman packs. I have learnt a lot from previous conversions and found these far easier.

These have the same source as the last element but also use figures from the welsh and the highlanders from some of the other later medieval rangesranges.

                           I really like the variety I have achieved by using lots of figure sources and converting. There is little formality about the elements but the use of shield designs etc still imply a degree of organisation beyond tribal which was my intention when I first set to work on them. That more or less concludes the work I intend to do on the late Romans. Time now, I think, to ponder on which army to finish next.. Saxons possibly?

More money than sense?

                     Yesterday the postman brought me two packets one contained the books for "Hail Caesar" and its "brittania" supplement. Now I have to admit these were a completely impulse buy and I will never use the rulebooks. Pretty smart buy eh?? On the other hand they are beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed my first run through of both books yesterday and loved the eye candy. I think these two will make a lot of appearances when I am bored and need some inspiration. beautiful pictures and wonderful painting.

                    The second package was perhaps my greatest folly:-

            Because of the high recommendations I have seen for this book, I have been on the look out for it for quite a while now.  It is now out of print and sells for stupid amounts of money. I have seen it for as much as 425 dollars.. Last week I spotted it for twice its original price and in a moment of total insanity I placed the order. It was with some trepidation and wonder because I had never actually seen within it's covers. When I opened it up this morning it was with great satisfaction that the book was a beautifully presented modelling work of art and is in fact a great source of information as well. I'm still in shock over how much I paid for it but do not, in retrospect, regret doing so.. I love this book and it's contents.

         I am currently, during insanely focussed painting sessions, rereading"the shining company" by Rosemary Sutcliffe for the umpteenth time . Now let me say I LOVE her Roman and post Roman novels. "Sword at Sunset" was one of my main inspirations for this period. She has this wonderful ability to breathe life into her characters and her ability to immerse her readers in the period. An awesome book and I never tire of rereading it. It is based on the events of "Y Gododdin" and is a great read. Hard to believe she wrote for children.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sooooooo close

Well blogging seems to work for me. It appears that writing down my progress certainly manages to focus my efforts. I am now just 3 painting sessions away from completing the late roman elements I want for the project.. I do hope I can keep this up..  Just one more shieldwall and one bow element.  Come On!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Skirmisher or two.

I meant to play over the weekend but got myself diverted in making more skirmish elements for the late Romans. I prepped up two javelin armed infantry elements and one of bow armed skirmishing cavalry. Here's the results and a little explanation,

These were converted from the Norman unarmoured infantry pack, some saxons and one I'm not sure about. New shields, new weapons and 3 head swaps.

These are mostly Normans with a few saxons and several head swaps. New shields and weapons etc. Several carry  spare Javelins in their shield hands.

These are all from the Kallistra romano brit pack but with several head swaps . I really like these.

So in order to have all the units in the list available I need 3 shield wall, 1 bow and 1 skirmish bow..  I aim to really put in the effort to finish these this week.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Oh joy unbounded


No not a clip from "Harry meets Sally" but my reaction to the latest delivery from Kallistra. As I said in an earlier post I am desperately looking for figures for the Picts and Irish. After careful examination of the Kallistra product listing I ordered packs of the folowing:-

H-914   100 years war highlanders
H-905   100 years war light troops
H-1008 wars of the roses welsh spearmen
601        barbarian horde.
                                                  The package arrived today and I am absolutely delighted.

                            I have to say the barbarian horde are nice figures but beyond my capabilities of turning them into dark age warriors. The others however are truly spectacular. between the 3 packs are a range of generically dressed lower class warriors. Fur cloaks. short cloaks, hooded cloaks, bare legs, bare arms in fact a super mix of figures. Just glancing through them has convinced me that when combined with some of the figures from the Norman unarmoured infantry, semi naked vikings, and the saxon unarmoured figures, they will provide all the figures I need for the Picts and irish infantry.. Furthermore the figures are beautifully animated and full of nice details. Well done kallistra.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Joys of Blogging

        Well this has been my first effort as a blogger. I started because the website I have maintained for many years contains elements that our now security concious interweb does not like. The site is large and sprawling and trying to right it would probably take a lifetime of which I don't have so many years to go.. heheh. I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying the experience so far and am contemplating starting a second blog to cover my general wargaming interests not the least of which being my 30 year flirtation with haircurler armies. The only record I have is on my website at

Frankly they deserve better and so I think a new blog recording their developement could be of interest.

              One problem I have is trying to propagate knowledge of the site amongst other wargamers. It seems to me the most efficient way is to join one of the blogging rings for wargames such as blogs of war. To date I have been singularly unsuccessful. I have applied several times but apart from  a short and uninformative application form, I have had no feedback from any of the sites I applied to. Ah well time will tell I guess. 
             Summing up, I am thoroughly enjoying the blogging experience. There is something very satisfying in recording your progress as you go along and sharing it with others. I am also enjoying visiting other peoples blogs and joining in the conversations. It fills that gregarious need that wargamers have to share their hobby with others, something I have missed in my corner of Spain where all of my gaming is solo.. So BLOG ON!!!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Another "Roman" unit

                            I have started work again on the Late-Roman British army. Tonight I completed the second noble shieldwall unit. Like the first one I made I used all armoured figures. They came from various packs from sub-Roman through to viking. The only changes made were new weapons and shields and in some cases modifying the helmets to a more "Roman" look. I think they have turned out well.

I decided to give both elements the same shield design so that they appear to be the same "unit". At 50 per element thats close on a century  :)

        Finally decide on a shot of both elements together. Very shieldwall. I like that

next more ordinary shieldwall

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Iechyd da! - from the boys on the borders! final part

So for those still interested, here is the final stage of painting the Welsh warband. We left them mounted on a naked MDF base at the end of an earlier post:-

Stage one is very simple. Completely cover the MDF with white PVA glue and pour black lava sand over the base. I found lava sand in a pet shop. Apparently its used for small lizards etc. It's very fine. Pour off the excess after a couple of hours.

Stage two is a liberal coat of  brown over the sand. I use a cheap acrylic brand I found here in Spain called Titanlux. Next using the same brand paint the sides in apple green and then when the brown is apparently dry but not quite, dry brush the brown with a lighter colour . I use tobacco

Stage 3 cover about 60% of the base in white glue leaving liberal patches of brown uncovered. Now sprinkle with green flock of choice and when dry shake of the excess. If necessary repeat to give the flock depth.

Finally apply tufts to your own liking and voila! Unit now ready for play.. Nice unit this with a lot of variety..

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Is that you Norman?

                    I'm afraid my impatience got the better of me last night. While waiting for the Welsh to dry off ready for basing I decided to prep up a few of the new figures I received from kallistra Or to be more precise "THE NORMANS" . These are from pack H-5002 described as "Unarmoured spearmen" . My first impressions as stated in an earlier post were that these would make a great generic spearman after removing the shield and the spears. They were easy to prep because the shield although integral to the body in places was moulded "outside" the frame of the figure and was easily removed with side clippers and cleaned up with a sharp knife.or dremel. I quickly added a round shield and spear and gave them a coat of paint.. I have to admit they look really good and will certainly be found places in any dark age army of mine. I have painted them to the stage of adding decals and am very pleased with them. The basic figure moulding is excellent. nice but not exaggerated detail. Lot's of animation and great positions. Yeah very nice. thanks Kallistra.

This is a few figures rough prepped and already you can see the potential Just a little cleaning and they will be ready for painting..

I painted them in basic rough colours but they would look fine painted with rich colourings too. They will easily paint up to romans or down to picts so I'm very happy. I think quite a few of these may be posted to dark age Britain in various guises.